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Mexico to take trade spat with US to WTO

Mexico City, June 5: Mexico will take its tariff dispute with the US to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Ministry of Economy has said.

In a statement, the ministry on Monday said Mexico will begin the process of dispute resolution at the WTO over Washington’s new steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminium, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Mexico believes the measures imposed by the US… arguing threats to national security, violate the WTO’s Agreement on Safeguards, as well as the 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade,” the ministry said.

The latest tariffs are being justified as a national security measure designed to protect key industries, under Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act.

Mexico also reiterated its intention to retaliate with equivalent tariffs on US imports.
As of June 1, the US imposed steep tariffs on imported steel (25 per cent) and aluminium (10 per cent) from the European Union as well as Mexico and Canada, partners of the United States in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
NAFTA is currently undergoing renegotiation, due to US President Donald Trump’s belief the trade deal has hampered US industry and job opportunities.

Mexico’s National Iron and Steel Industry Chamber (Canacero) last week said the new tariffs will cost $2 billion a year.

However, Canacero also said the US steel surplus with Mexico amounted to $3.6 billion in the past two years, indicating the tariffs stand to have a greater negative impact on US industry.

Mexico’s National Aluminium Industry Chamber (Canalum) also expects the tariffs to have a greater impact in the United States, where consumers will have to pay higher prices. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita